Following a ten-month study, Barbadians will witness major development along the south-east corridor, which stretches from St Davids, Christ Church, to Six Cross Roads, St Philip.
Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins made this disclosure this week while addressing members of the Press and introducing consultants from Ecolite Consulting and Open Plan, the consultancy firms retained to carry out the study.
Giving the background to the development, Cummins said the late Prime Minister David Thompson had suggested that a study be carried out before any development was undertaken in the area.
He also noted that a significant number of applications were received for change of use of land, which is predominantly agricultural.
“Applications for change of use of land went well beyond what should be converted,” Cummins said.
He said that another challenge in the area was the availability of water and “we met with officials of the Barbados Water Authority and they pointed out that based on the level of water demand, it would have been very difficult for them to satisfy the water demand.”
Therefore, applications have been held in abeyance,” said Cummins.
He adding that a number of applications have been made for large housing developments in the area, including one at Yorkshire for 1,200 lots.
“The collective acreage is quite significant. A lot of this land is currently under sugar cane and other agricultural produce and some is fallow,” Cummins explained.
He said the study will go a long way in assisting the Department in its decision making, as well as preparing a blueprint in terms of how the area between St Davids and Six Cross Roads should be developed, taking into consideration the pockets of settlement.
Cummins said consultants will also
look at the adequacy of the transport system, the infrastructural services available and disaster management.
Noting that another 18 acres had been earmarked by Government for the construction of a secondary school at Searles, Christ Church, he said: “There is one project that is very critical that we are assessing at present. The project is an application for a change of use of land for a secondary school at Searles.
“This secondary school is critical not only to fill the void created when the Louis Lynch School was closed, but more importantly to service eastern Christ Church and going into St Philip, the most rapidly growing areas in Barbados population wise. The Ministry of Education hopes to have this school opened in 2016.”
“The challenge resides not only with the change of use of agricultural lands, but we must ensure that the necessary infrastructural services are in place and adequate to service any development.”